My grandfather, Ben Smethurst, is a special man. During his prime he worked for the FBI as a detective and also for the House Committee of Investigations. Bampy was meticulous with details. He spent long hours building cases and combing through evidence. You should see his personal diaries, chalked full of details, not so much stories, but details about the life of his family. For as long as I’ve known Bampy, there was one object that probably summed him up nicely: a magnifying glass. On some of the tables in my grandparents’ house, you could find one. Not just small flimsy ones, but often times the ones with a little light bulb for reading in the dark and in old age. It wasn’t just that he had the magnifying glass – it was his mindset: Pay attention to detail.
If you and I have one hope of navigating this culture, competing ideologies and deceptive philosophies, myths, it’s through the genuine wisdom of God’s Word.
In Peter’s words, “We would do well to pay attention to it” (2 Peter 1:19).
We need to pay attention to the Scripture.
We pay too much attention to tweets. We pay too much attention to Facebook. We pay too much attention to fashion magazines. We pay too much attention to fantasy sports. We pay too much attention to our favorite newsfeed.
In the book of Matthew, Jesus warned his disciples to “beware” of the Pharisees and false prophets or teachers. Perhaps that’s an appropriate compliment to Peter’s charge, to “pay attention” to the Word of God, because of the world we live in. Not only do we need to give heed to the Scripture, but at the same time be on our guard on against enticing heresies like, the prosperity gospel or tolerant universalism.
Peter describes the prophetic word as a “light shining in a dark place” (2 Peter 1:19). Until Jesus returns, until the day dawns and the morning star rises, we’ve got to treasure the words of scripture and the content of the only hope this world has.
When you try to navigate a dark room you’ve never walked through before, your only hope is to find a light. And once you’ve found it, to turn it on – then you can see. The word of God is a light shining in the darkness.
And if we actually treasure that light, then there is no substitute for discipleship in the word. There is no replacement for spending time combing through the details, finding nourishment for our souls and organizing a Biblical worldview grounded in God’s word. It’s time to study. Not just read, but study it carefully and memorize it. Meditate on it.
Pick one verse to ponder on your ride to work. Read the rich stories of David and Goliath or the Parable of the Talents with your kids before they go to bed. Prioritize opportunities to discuss the word of God in Women’s Bible study, your LIFE group, or even with a friend over coffee.
It’s time to really pay attention to it. Get out your magnifying glass.